I suspect that religion is a necessary evil in the childhood of our particular species. And that's one of the interesting things about contact with other intelligences: we could see what role, if any, religion plays in their development. I think that religion may be some random by-product of mammalian reproduction. If that's true, would non-mammalian aliens have a religion?
Arthur C. Clarke
I have always been interested - indeed, waylaid - by the leading edges of technology, even during my Ph.D. years when I pioneered (but did not publish) agarose gel electrophoresis for RNA fractionation. Also, much later, I was instrumental in showing that Green Fluorescent Protein and RNAi could be made to work in mammalian cells.
From a biological viewpoint, patriarchal religion denied women the natural rights of every other mammalian female: the right to choose her stud, to control the circumstances of her mating, to occupy and govern her own nest, or to refuse all males when preoccupied with the important business of raising her young.
Barbara G. Walker
Human beings appear to be sufficiently selfish and calculating to be capable of indefinitely greater harmony and social homeostasis. This statement is not self-contradictory. True selfishness, if obedient to the other constraints of mammalian biology, is the key to a more nearly perfect social contract. - pg. 157
Edward O. Wilson
Human insulin differs from other mammalian types by having a different C-terminal amino acid on the B chain. The immunological difference between beef insulin and human insulin, which is presumably responsible for the antigenicity of the former in some human beings, is thus limited to very a small portion of the whole molecule.
Frank Macfarlane Burnet
If one loves stories, then one would naturally love the story of the story. Or the story behind the story, pick your preposition. It does seem to me to be a kind of animal impulse almost, a mammalian curiosity. For a reader to wonder about the autobiography in a fiction may be completely unavoidable and in fact may speak to the success of a particular narrative, though it may also speak to its failure.
This year, 1996, has been designated the 'Year of the Vaccine,' commemorating the 200th anniversary of Edward Jenner's vaccination of James Phipps with cowpox virus and subsequent challenge with smallpox virus. Insight into the nature of viruses, and how viruses interact with mammalian cells, has evolved since the turn of the century.
Peter C. Doherty
The human species - mammalian primates though undoubtedly (s)he is, and made out of the dust of exploded suns - does have the need for the transcendent, the numinous, even the ecstatic. I wouldn't trust anyone who hadn't had this. This has to do with landscape, light, music, love and an awareness of the transience of all things, and the melancholy that invests all this. So it isn't just gaping happily at the sunset while listening to music, and doing that while knowing that it can't last very long. But there is no need for the supernatural in this at all. There is no dimension of the supernatural of which this gives one a share.
When a scientist considers all high-tech mental machinery needed to arrange words into ordinary sentences, prescriptive rules are, at best, inconsequential little decorations. The very fact that they have to be drilled shows that they are alien to the natural workings of the language system. One can choose to obsess over prescriptive rules, but they have no more to do with language than the criteria for judging cats at a cat show have to do with mammalian biology.
What politicians do not understand is that [Ian] Wilmut discovered not so much a technical trick as a new law of nature. We now know that an adult mammalian cell can fire up all the dormant genetic instructions that shut down as it divides and specializes and ages, and thus can become a source of new life. You can outlaw technique; you cannot repeal biology. Writing after Wilmut's successful cloning of the sheep, Dolly, that research on the cloning of human beings cannot be suppressed.
Seafood is simply a socially acceptable form of bush meat. We condemn Africans for hunting monkeys and mammalian and bird species from the jungle yet the developed world thinks nothing of hauling in magnificent wild creatures like swordfish, tuna, halibut, shark, and salmon for our meals. The fact is that the global slaughter of marine wildlife is simply the largest massacre of wildlife on the planet.
The genetic stage of a gene pool can be identified by the personality characteristics of the local God. Jehovah of Genesis is a low-level barbarian macho punk God. He boastfully claims to have created the heaven and the stars and the world, but provides no technical details or replicable blueprints. His preoccupations, whims, anxieties, jealousies, rules and hatred of women are primitive mammalian brain. His petty prides are primate.
The extracellular genesis of cells in animals seemed to me, ever since the publication of the cell theory [of Schwann], just as unlikely as the spontaneous generation of organisms. These doubts produced my observations on the multiplication of blood cells by division in bird and mammalian embryos and on the division of muscle bundles in frog larvae. Since then I have continued these observations in frog larvae, where it is possible to follow the history of tissues back to segmentation.
The point I want to make about methanogens is that they were the losers in the race through a bottleneck, yet nonetheless survived in niche environments. Similarly, on a larger scale, it is rare for the loser to disappear completely, or for the latecomers never to gain at least a precarious foothold. The fact that flight had already evolved among birds did not preclude its later evolution in bats, which became the most numerous mammalian species. The evolution of plants did not lead to the disappearance of algae, or indeed the evolution of vascular plants to the disappearance of mosses.
These scientific studies countervail the influential claims of the Kants, Nietzsches, and Rands about the nature of human goodness. Compassion is not a blind emotions that catapults people pell-mell toward the next warm body that walks by. Instead, compassion is exquisitely attuned to harm and vulnerability in others. Compassion does not render people tearful idlers, moral weaklings, or passive onlookers but individuals who will take on the pain of others, even when given the chance to skip out on such difficult action or in anonymous conditions. The kindness, sacrifice, and jen that make up healthy communities are rooted in a bundle of nerves that has been producing caretaking behavior for over 100 million years of mammalian evolution.
Biju stepped out of the airport into the Calcutta night, warm, mammalian. His feet sank into dust winnowed to softness at his feet, ad he felt an unbearable feeling, sad and tender, old and sweet like the memory of falling asleep, a baby on his mother's lap. Thousands of people were out though it was almost eleven. He saw a pair of elegant bearded goats in a rickshaw, riding to slaughter. A conference of old men with elegant goat faces, smoking bidis. A mosque and minarets lit magic green in the night with a group of women rushing by in burkas, bangles clinking under the black and a big psychedelic mess of colour from a sweet shop. Rotis flew through the air as in a juggling act, polka-dotting the sky high over a restaurant that bore the slogan "Good food makes good mood". Biju stood there in that dusty tepid soft sari night. Sweet drabness of home - he felt everything shifting and clicking into place around him, felt himself slowly shrink back to size, the enormous anxiety of being a foreigner ebbing - that unbearable arrogance and shame of the immigrant. Nobody paid attention to him here, and if they said anything at all, their words were easy, unconcerned. He looked about and for the first time in God knows how long, his vision unblurred and he found that he could see clearly.